Patent application title: PORTABLE FAN
Cynthia A. Wark (Spring, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AF04D2900FI
Class name: Fluid reaction surfaces (i.e., impellers) ambulant, body supported or with carrying handle
Publication date: 2010-11-18
Patent application number: 20100290907
Two embodiments of a portable fan for use in the cup holder of a
recreational vehicle such as a golf cart are shown and described. In the
first embodiment, a bottle-shaped body has a cup-shaped lower portion
separated from the body by a shoulder which acts as a limit stop when
inserting the base into a cup holder. A shrouded impeller is pivotally
connected to the top of the base and exhibits an integral carry handle.
The entire structure is made of a suitable plastic such as high density
polyethylene. In the second embodiment, the impeller is located
intervally of the body for safety and a bell-shaped outlet directs air
through a diffuser with circular louvers.
1. A portable fan device comprising:a rigid body of such size and shape as
to accommodate a rechargeable battery therein;a cup-shaped lower base
portion integral with said body and of such size and shape as to fit into
a cup holder; anda fan carried by said body.
2. A fan as defined in claim 1 wherein a shoulder is formed between the body and the lower base portion.
3. A portable fan as defined in claim 1 wherein the impeller is pivotally attached to the body.
4. A portable fan as defined in claim 1 further comprising a mode selector mounted on the body for selecting the operating mode and/or speed of the fan.
5. A portable fan as defined in claim 1 further comprising a shroud around the impeller.
6. A portable fan as defined in claim 4 further comprising a carry handle integrally attached to the shroud.
7. A portable fan as defined in claim 2 wherein the body is bottle-shaped.
8. A portable fan as defined in claim 1 wherein the body and the lower portion are made of plastic.
9. A portable fan as defined in claim 1 further comprising means for supplying DC energy to the rechargeable battery through a port located in the case.
10. A portable fan as defined in claim 9 wherein the means is an AC/DC converter, cord and plug.
11. A portable fan as defined in claim 9 wherein the means is a 12 volt DC receptacle, plug and cord.
12. A portable fan device as defined in claim 1 wherein the impeller is located within the body and wherein the body further comprises an upper outlet portion for diffusing air from the Ian.
13. A portable fan as defined in claim 12 wherein the upper outlet portion has an integral handle attached thereto.
14. A portable fan comprising:a housing of such size and shape as to accommodate therein a rechargeable battery, a DC motor and an impeller attached to the DC motor to be driven thereby wherein said housing has a lower portion of lesser diameter adapted to fit within a convention cup holder; andan outlet portion attached to the housing to receive and to diverge air from the impeller, said upper outlet body having a generally hollow cylindrical portion through which air from the impeller flows.
15. A fan as described in claim 14 wherein the upper outlet portion has an integral handle attached thereto;the combination further comprising a diffuser with louvers fitted to the outlet portion.
16. A portable fan as described in claim 14 further comprising air intake slots formed in the housing body.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to portable fans and more particularly to a battery operated portable fan adapted to fit into a cup holder in a recreational vehicle such as a golf cart.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Off-road recreational vehicles including golf carts are now universally equipped with cup holders in and around the structure in front of the passengers. The term "cup holder", as used in this document, defines a slightly tapered receptacle adapted to receive a lower portion of a standard size plastic or coated paper drink cup of the type dispensed in country clubs, fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Such cup holders may have perforated bottoms for drainage and are typically made of plastic.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In general, golf is a warm weather sport and, while a breeze may be provided during movement of the cart, a good deal of the game requires the cart to he stationary. During this time, the occupants of the cart would enjoy the cooling effects of air movement produced by a portable fan.
In general, my invention is a portable fan suitable for mounting in the cup holder of a recreational vehicle, such as a golf cart, so as to provide the cooling effects of moving air when the cart is stationary. In addition, the invention enjoys easy portability, safety and rechargeability of a battery carried in the body of the fan.
In general, these benefits are achieved in a fan having a rigid base made of a material such as high density polyethylene and being of such size and shape as to accommodate a rechargeable battery therein. A portion of the base, distinguished from the base proper by means of an inwardly directed flat annular shoulder, is a cup-shaped lower portion which is integral with the base and of such size and shape as to fit conveniently and non-bindingly into the cup holder of an off-road recreational vehicle, such as a golf cart.
In a first embodiment, an impeller is pivotally attached to the upper portion of the body and has a shroud which includes an integral handle so that the fan may be easily and safely lifted from the cup holder and/or placed into the cup holder without danger of inserting ones fingers into the path of the moving impeller blades.
In a second embodiment, the impeller blades are mounted, along with a motor and battery, within the body and a bell-shaped, angled outlet is fitted to the housing to direct air to occupants of a golf cart or the like. Air intake slots are formed in the fan body and a diffuser is fitted onto the outlet to diffuse the outlet air stream and prevent foreign objects from damaging the impeller blades.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a golf cart equipped with cup holders, one of which carries a fan designed and fabricated according to my invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a fan embodying my invention along with a pair of charging cords;
FIG. 3 is a front view of the fan according to a first embodiment of my invention;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the fan of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a rear view of the fan of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a front view of a second embodiment of my invention; and
FIG. 7 is a side view, partly in section, of the embodiment of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS
Referring now to FIGS. 1-5 of the drawings, there is shown a portable fan 10 resting in one of two cup holders 11 in the dashboard portion 12 of a conventional golf cart 14 having a steering wheel 15. The golf cart 14 may be of any conventional type, either electric or gasoline engine powered.
The fan 10 comprises a bottle-shaped body 16 of such size and shape as to accommodate a rechargeable metal hydride battery 38 fully therein. Body 16 is made of an impact-resistant polymer such as HDPE with a smooth outer surface. The body 16 has an integral lower base portion 18 which is slightly tapered and of such size and shape as to tit into the cup holder 11 in the golf cart 14. This cup holder is of such size as to accommodate drink cups from about 8 to 20 ozs. The height of the lower base portion 18 is on the order of 21/2 inches, the maximum diameter at the top of the taper is about 21/2 inches, and the shoulder 20 between the lower base and the central bottle-shaped body 16 is flat and annular and serves as a mechanical stop to prevent the body from being wedged too deeply into the cup holder. The shoulder 20 also provides stability for the fan 10 while the golf cart 14 is in motion. Some golf cart cup holders have a shoulder around the receptacle which will match up with the shoulder 20.
An operating mode/speed selector 22 is mounted to the front of the body 16. Toward the top of the body 16 is a pivot 24 which accommodates a bracket 26 integrally mounted to an upper fan shroud 28 which encompasses and protects an impeller comprising a set of impeller blades 30 pivotally mounted within the shroud for rotation by a DC motor (not shown) powered by the metal hydride battery 38. The blades may he plastic or metal.
Integral with the shroud 28 is a top mounted handle 34 which allows the user to pick the fan 10 up and carry it as well as to locate the fan in a cup holder 11. The pivot allows the fan shroud to be oriented to suit the user. Screens 32, 36 on the front and back of the fan shroud protect the user from inadvertently placing his or her fingers in the path of the impeller blades 30 when they are moving.
As shown in FIG. 5 a jack 40 is provided in the back of the bottle-shaped body 16 to accommodate the plug 42 of an AC inverter/charger 44 or, alternatively, to receive the jack 46 of a DC power receptacle 48. The plugs 42, 46 are connected to cords 50, 52 respectively, in the usual fashion. The body 16 and base 18 are preferably made of durable plastic such as HDPE with a smooth outer surface. Any color may be chosen with white being preferred.
Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, a second embodiment of my invention is illustrated. As shown in these drawings, a portable fan 42 comprises an impact-resistant plastic body 44 having a lower cup-shaped portion 46 similar to the lower portion 18 of the first embodiment and adapted to fit within a convention cup holder of a vehicle such as a golf cart. A shoulder 47 is formed between the lower portion 46 and upper body 44 to limit the extent to which the fan 42 projects into the cup holder and to provide stability during golf cart movement.
A bell-shaped upper housing 48 provides a fan outlet which is angled relative to the axis of symmetry of the body 44. The body 48 terminates in an outwardly flaring annular portion 50 which is covered by a molded plastic diffuser 68 with circular louvers. The diffuser 48 also prevents foreign objects from entering the body. Outlet body 44 has an integral plastic carry handle 42 formed therewith. The body 48 fits on a smaller diameter extension 54 of the lower body 44.
Within the body 44 is located a metal hydride battery 58 which is adapted to power a DC "pancake" motor 62 having an output shaft 63 on which an impeller comprising fan blades 64 are mounted. Air intake slots 56 are formed around the side wall of the body 44 to provide air for the impeller which is then exhausted through the louvers of diffuser 68 toward the occupants. A speed control and on/off switch 60 is provided on the side of the housing body 44 and is connected to a circuit board 62 which, in turn, interconnects the battery 58 to the motor 62.
The entire fan 42 can be rotated in the cup holder to direct the air according to the wishes of the golf cart occupant(s).
Again, the body of the fan 42 is made of an impact-resistant plastic such as HDPE or other polymeric/elastomeric material. A charging jack 66 is provided in the body 44 and will accommodate the devices shown at 50, 52 in FIG. 2.